One of the more interesting, strange and funny websites I have managed to run into lately is YTMND. My choice for an alternative kind of Social Community!!
Whereas standard social community websites, such as MySpace, hand you with a platform onto which you can present yourself and connect with others expanding your friends network; YTMND actually allows you to create, present and share your own alternative views of the world, society and culture you live in.
YTMND is named after the line Sean Connery declares on "Finding Forrester": "You're the man now dog!" (don't ask me why), see another sample. Now, although most YTMNDs are meant to expose or reflect the more hollow and absurd aspects of pop culture, some are rather YTMNDers inside jokes. Take a look at this "Luke uncovers the mask" YTMND. See, the whole thing stems from an idea that, using sound, image, and some text, users can communicate a point - political, cultural, social or plain funny to the general media. Check out these "is Anna Nicole Smith still dead?" or the "De Niro Captivates" YTMNDs.
YTMND introduces its users' "meme": units of cultural information meant to make culture transferable from one mind to another, such as tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs and fashions. I have recently posted an article about bemes: memes that are bloged. Within YTMND memes rely on inter-textuality, as one YTMND frequently makes a reference to another. Series of similar YTMNDs are referred to as "fads" (popular fads change frequently) and a list is maintained at the YTMND Wiki.
So what can you do there? 1. use your sense of humor to be a critic of your culture and society. 2. create new hosted webpages (Memes): a single image or a simple slideshow, which may be animated and/or tiled along with optional large zooming text and a looping sound file of any sort. See and grade other's memes. 3. pick up content for your web2.0 apps (communities, blogs etc).
Being probably one of the few lasts remaining from my kind, I have always find great satisfaction going out to shop for new music at the music store near me. A strange sense of excitement arises as I track and hunt innovative sounds that sometimes send me off giggling with joy. So - when I found Pandora I was curious. This service is a by-result of the Music Genome Project, a technological and mathematical analysis of the musical qualities within each song - one attribute at a time. The idea behind Pandora for people to discover new music through a system that studies what they like - so they said. Well I immediately signed-up and started "educating" the Pandora system so to understand my taste. I also got my colleagues and my significant other here to try it out. Trouble was that no matter how hard and how often we all tried we were not able to get the system to "understand", and we kept on ffwding more and more songs that seemed to have no relation to what each of us was looking to hear. It seemed that the more I try the less I succeed. I was finally frustrated and gave up on the service - it was for me a great idea with a poor execution.
Oh, what a joy. This place does it all: like with Pandora you can browse while listening and searching for new stuff according to many different search options of your choice, and like Pandora FineTune finds related artists and songs and then creates a station for you. But this is where the similarity ends - Finetune's main advantages are its slick, quick and with-lots-of-schick friendly and intuitive flash interface - it is oh so lovely; and its custom-made play-lists.
With FineTune you get to really show off your DJ tendencies: you can create new play-lists and then share them with others!! These lists are completely up to you - with a single click you pick and save any song from your search results and that is immediately added to your new list that can be as diverse or as narrow with its types of music as you decide it would be, while Each list contains at least 45 songs.
Thanks to FineTune the hunt for new music has just managed to get even more interesting, and if I would be able to pay-download the songs via a non-itunes music mode it would be then a world made perfect (or at least much much more tolerable).
This is in fact the other blog-half of my "the soul of www", and as that masterpiece minds the social forces and cultural tendencies behind the global sphere, this one here will examine the actual online developments by reviewing and grading web enabled entities belonging to three categories - content websites, online IT services websites and e-commerce websites.
Each of these three categories will be reviewed by relevant factors: 1. content websites will be reviewed by their interface usability and clearity, art, unique features, content level of interest and interaction with users. 2. online IT services will be examined by their sense of real innovation on one hand and by the actual necessity of what they offer to their relevant crowds. 3. e-commerce websites will be reviewed by all of the content website criteria, as well as according to their level of customer service, information clearity, turnaround reliability and final product.
The web is a great place to be, and I truly hope that combining these two visions of it: the soul and the practice, I will be able to fully comprehend this powerful and restless being that is all of us.
I'll be happy to recieve your comments, as well as recommendations and referals to online places you have been to or shopped at: if there's anything you love let me know, if there's anything you need me to check on - don't hold back. That especially goes if you have ever been hurt by content, service or a product online.
Thank you for being here with me and - enjoy your reading!!